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Health clinic near border sees decline in immigrant patients due to deportation fears


EL PASO, Texas (CBS4) — Local healthcare clinics are seeing a decline in undocumented patients in the Borderland. One clinic attributes some of the lower numbers to the changes at the White House.

Centro San Vicente in El Paso's Lower Valley is situated close to the U.S./Mexico border. The clinic has a huge sign out front that reads 'immigrants welcome,' but the clinic says undocumented immigrants aren't visiting as much out of fear of deportation.

Dr. Christina Paz, a nurse practitioner and the chief operations officer at Centro San Vicente said the clinic has definitely seen a decline in patients. Paz said they were previously seeing a large increase in patients until the election of Donald Trump.

She says that struck fear in El Paso families, then they saw a steady decline in patients.

"We have had some patients express the fact that they're not coming in because they're scared. We've had patients that will not get up when their names are being called because they're scared. We would like everybody to know that they're safe in our clinic," Paz said. "We are considered a sanctuary clinic. Nothing can happen to them here."

A "sanctuary clinic" means once a patient steps foot inside the clinic, the authorities can't come in and take them away.

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